What's Happening in Character?

Start Early: Teaching Character in Early Childhood Education

Posted by Rebecca Bauer on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 16:02 PM

“The early years of life provide the foundation for what is to come in terms of social, intellectual and moral development. A child’s capacity to think out problems, built from “lived experience” is indicative of social skills, moral reasoning and intelligence” according to Darcia Narvaez’s research.

Considering this, why isn’t there more of an emphasis on character development in the current discussions and debates on early childhood education? Perhaps because academics are easier to quantify. But there is much more to preschool than learning the alphabet and recognizing numbers. It is essential that children feel cared for and that they are learning to care for others as well.

How do we develop a caring environment for our youngest children? How do we encourage the development of good character and empathy before they can even talk in full sentences? To answer these questions, I turned to one of our early childhood education experts, Gina Siebe, Director of the Clayton Early Childhood Center and former principal of NSOC Bayless Elementary.

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Topics: Bauer Rebecca, empathy, Early Childhood Education

5 Random Acts of Kindness for Teachers and Why You Should Do One Now

Posted by Rebecca Bauer on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 @ 09:02 AM

by Rebecca Bauer

Last week, a friend sent me the article, “Why So Many Teachers Feel Bad So Much of the Time”, and asked me what I thought. I was about halfway through reading it when I received a text from a different friend, a first-year high school English teacher, asking me what exactly my job was, because she wanted to do something else next year.

So what did I think about this article? I think its bleak outlook is concerningly accurate. 

In my work in education, I often hear administrators and politicians ask, “How can we better support our students?”  It’s a great question deserving a thoughtful answer, but there’s another important question that I hear asked less often.

How can we better support our teachers?

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Topics: Bauer Rebecca, Teacher Appreciation, Random Acts of Kindness

What is Character Education?

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Mon, Dec 30, 2013 @ 12:12 PM

Fourth in a series by student teacher Rebecca Bauer who graduated from a National School of Character and wants to make sure that as a teacher she includes character education.

After completing my student teaching, I find myself asking the question that I probably should have started with. What is Character Education and what does it mean to have a Character Education program? Some of the confusion about character education seems to be due to the presence of many different names for the same practices. I have encountered many professors who have never heard of character education but strongly encourage teaching with “a culture of care,” without understanding the enormous overlap. I have met teachers who implement the Responsive Classroom approach, without knowing that in the process, they, too, are incorporating some of the elements of character education. Schools can always teach more character education and there is always more work to be done, but one way to convince people that character education is worth teaching, is by showing them they are already teaching it.

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Topics: character education, student teaching, Bauer Rebecca

Time for Character Education

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 @ 10:11 AM

Third in a series by student teacher Rebecca Bauer. She graduated from a National School of Character and wants to make sure that as a teacher she includes character education, but she is finding it challenging.

Even at an elementary school as great as the one that I was working at, I still felt the need to “sneak in” character education. The classroom environment encouraged respect and responsibility, but another part of the character education equation, critical thought and discussion, was missing.  Despite believing deeply in the importance of character education, I felt uncomfortable making time to devote entire lessons to it, especially in a classroom that I was only borrowing for a couple months. While I have read and will continue to read ways to incorporate character education into the common core standards requirements, as a student teacher trying to get by, my survival strategy turned into simply sprinkling in character education wherever I could.

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Topics: character education, character education in curriculum, teachable moments, student teaching, Bauer Rebecca